Everywhere in China in the early morning or evening people occupy public places to square dance. Those who participate in the dances are mostly middle-aged women who organize themselves in a military-like formation. The vast majority of churches in China are very low key. We pray for those churches that have tried to distribute gospel tracts in the streets. May the Lord give them wisdom as they share Jesus boldly and may there be much fruit.
The affectionate term for all of those retired middle-aged women who like to dance to loud music in large groups in parks and public squares in every city in China is "da ma" (literally Chinese aunt). Women outnumber men in the churches in China and they are the backbone of all the ministries. China also has the largest number of female pastors in the world. We praise God for all of the sisters who serve in their churches. May the Lord bless each one of them abundantly.
Residents near the venues where ladies dance to loud music in China complain bitterly since they are fed up with the daily noise and music blasting from the large loud speakers. In the Three-Self churches, nearly a quarter of all the pastors are women. We pray for insight and the teaching of God’s Word as they lead and feed their flocks. We pray, too, for their families and especially those of the single women pastors, that they will understand.
In China there are about one hundred million "Da ma" (Chinese aunts)--a huge block of consumers. Collectively they decide what their families will spend. They do things in droves, certainly in entertaining, dancing, vacations, and even in speculating on real estate. Nearly seventy percent of believers in China are women, many retired. They can help in the church in just about any ministry, especially in those churches without pastors. We praise the Lord for all of the sisters who serve their churches unselfishly.
The dance craze in China began probably in the 1990's as tens of millions of state-owned companies laid off workers and caused many women to be instantly unemployed. Public dancing became an obvious and cheap way to get exercise and socialize. We pray that churches will care for and equip the retired sisters to serve there more effectively. May the Lord grant them wisdom and humility as they learn to serve and become a true blessing in their churches.
China recently passed a new law which legally defines domestic violence and requires police intervention. This law mandates that when reported, the local courts must rule on restraining orders within two days. Those who are convicted can then be sentenced to an imprisonment of up to seven years. Praise God for this positive step the Chinese government is taking against domestic violence. We pray especially for families in the church that are struggling with marital discord and abusive relationships. May the Lord have mercy on them and may the churches themselves be able to help them in various ways.
The official government report says that one in four women in China has suffered domestic abuse. Almost 40% of the women in China who are married or are in a relationship, have experienced some form of abuse.We pray that the church in China will confront the issue of violence at home head on--male and female pastors alike will preach against such violence and help those who are victims of abuse.